“Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” -Joseph Campbell
Pristine local harbors. Dense Eastern forests. Granite ridglines. These are the places the Avalon Natural Connections uses as its classroom. Your own two feet, your hands, your capable mind. These are tools that will help you discover your ties to the natural world, as well as your own strengths, during our two-week experiential program.
Our ethos in the Avalon Natural Connections is that we sometimes need to disconnect from our busy, scheduled lives in order to unlock and connect with the leaders and strong individuals waiting to emerge in all of us. The natural world provides us with the perfect backdrop to explore what we truly value; through exploration we can return home to a more grounded version of ourselves.
Successful candidates will demonstrate an earnest interest in exploring the outdoors (regardless of experience) and in learning about their own leadership potential in a unique and cooperative setting.
During our time away from Long Island, the program will request that program participants not bring any electronic devices. Please understand this requirement before submitting your application.
The program was created in 2007 by Avalon Park director Katharine Griffiths and local educators Doug Elliot and Steve Gessler. While our program has evolved during the last decade, one thing has remained constant-our commitment to help teens connect with the natural world surrounding them.
There is a work component to this program and students will be expected to complete assigned projects throughout the course and time will be given each day for mandatory journaling. Students should expect to participate in group discussions and projects as well as individual tasks.
Students should be aware that they will be participating in outdoor physical activities and a moderate level of physical fitness will be necessary in order to participate fully and comfortably.
Selection into the program constitutes the awarding of a scholarship to the participant – no costs shall be incurred by the students.
Parental permission is mandatory for participation.
Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Avalon Park. Transportation to offsite programs will be provided from Avalon Park to destination and back.
A selection committee will review all completed applications and a shortlist will be compiled. These applicants will be required to attend a brief interview with the selection committee after which final selections will be made. Selected participants will be notified by mail.